Why a woman needs to be employed | Sunday Observer

Why a woman needs to be employed

17 January, 2021

Throughout history and even today, society has been stereotyping gender in different contexts. Gender vs. employment is a highly discussed, debated, and reviewed topic in contemporary society. There are questions, doubts, arguments, and opinions held by the society about women participating in the labour force.

Assistant Medical Officer of Health at Dompe Regional Hospital and Healthy Life Style Ambassador for the Ministry of Health, Dr. Nuwandika Siriwardena shared her opinion with Youth Observer.

Why women need to be employed? Elaborating on the above question, Dr. Nuwandika said, “If we look back at the evolution of human society it is very clear that women always played a vibrant role in family activities bringing up children as well as contributing to productivity in agriculture.

“Even in the stone age, women were responsible for looking after the family and children and attending to domestic affairs while the male was engaged in hunting and providing the needs of the family.

“As society became more and more civilized, the role of women changed from the traditional housewife concept to a role where women directly contributed to the national economy and taking up positions in administrative and other sectors.

“Statistics show that over 50% of the population comprises women. Therefore, their contribution to the economy is essential. It is not fair to keep them out of the economic administrative and decision-making process in the modern era.

“Women should gain financial independence and freedom despite gender deviations and for an organization, it is mandatory to hire women from diverse backgrounds to achieve objectives with a fair representation of society.

“According to educational statistics, it is clear that women are very much ahead of men in entering universities, medical colleges, law schools, etc. In the area of employment, the duty of our society is to embrace educated women and let them contribute to the development of the country without any hesitation. The concept of gender equity has become part of the universal agenda to empower women to have the right to employment.”

Why a woman needs a job?

According to her, “The right to education is given to every individual despite gender barriers in almost every country in the world. In this regard, women gain the power to choose their path in education as well as in the professional field.

“Being economically independent goes hand in hand with earning a sufficient income. We live in a country with the tradition of men being the breadwinner of the family with women being dependent on men. Modern society has accepted the fact that women should be given the freedom to enter the professional field.

At present, it is obvious that middle or lower-middle-class families financially struggle to survive when men and women do not cooperate in earning and spending money. The wellness of the modern family strongly depends on access to education, nourishment, sanitary, and other facilities. It lays the foundation to build up the next generation especially in terms of providing quality education to the younger generation.”

What are the Challenges working women face?

“Women from traditional society held the responsibility of looking after children and fulfilling domestic chores. Technological development over time directly influenced the roles played by them. Modern household tools have made lives easier. As a result, women have the opportunity to contribute to enhancing the quality of family life by sharing the responsibility of stabilizing the financial agenda.

“But there are many challenges she faces in this process. Balancing family life and work-life in terms of taking care of children, handling pregnancy issues is one of the hurdles women have to clear.

“Workplace harassment, gender discrimination are other growing concerns in the professional field encountered by women in their everyday life. The situation could aggravate if the person doesn’t take action against them. Most of the working women refrain from complaining as they fear losing their job, especially single moms and other women who are the only providers for the family.

“Meanwhile, the egoistic attitudes of men also affect the growth of the carriers of women. This happens in cases like promotions and salary increments. The insecurity of men has led them to prevent women from holding higher positions as they think it belittles their personalities.”

How could we encourage women to participate in the labour force?

“We cannot compare the capabilities of men and women. They are incomparable due to their unique qualities by nature. Therefore, we cannot say one gender is lower than the other. The potentials of both parties may differ. In many cases, women have proved their competency in different subject areas where men have failed. The community and the government should take steps to resolve issues such as the gender wage gap, discrimination, and other challenges women face to help them regain their rights as human beings. This is a matter of global concern as Gender Equality is one of the Sustainable Development Goals to be achieved by 2030,” Dr. Siriwardena said.